Corporate and legal

Google Apps plug-in injects the cloud into Office

The cloud is coming to Microsoft Office--and it's powered by Google.

Google's latest effort to lure business customers away from Microsoft Office to Google Apps comes in the form of a plug-in for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The plug-in (pictured below) essentially syncs Office files with an online counterpart that lives in Google Docs, which allows users to always see the most recent version of a file, whether they're viewing it in a browser, in an Office app or even on a mobile device.

That means no more emailing a Word document between multiple people, only to … Read more

Huawei wins injunction against Motorola

Huawei has won a court order that prevents Motorola Solutions from revealing trade secrets as the latter looks to sell its wireless equipment business to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Filing a lawsuit against Motorola late last month, the Chinese telecom equipment provider claims that Motorola could potentially share trade secrets with Nokia Siemens in the $1.2 billion deal that would transfer both Motorola technology and employees.

Motorola has for years been selling Huawei's wireless equipment, so its employees are well versed in Huawei's products and technology. Huawei considers Nokia Siemens a competitor. As a result, Huawei argues that … Read more

Busting wireless bottlenecks with Wi-Fi

Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I sat in press conference after press conference wanting to pull my hair out in utter frustration, because even though I had 100 percent signal strength on my wireless air card, I could barely load a Web page.

My 3G Sprint air card, which under normal circumstances provides me with a very reliable, stable, and usable Internet connection, slowed to a crawl when I needed it the most. I've had similar experiences at other venues using other wireless networks. At the U.S. Open in New York City this … Read more

Congress zeroes in on FCC's Net neutrality rules

The new Republican members of both the House and Senate wasted no time following up on promises to undo the Federal Communications Commission's December vote to apply new "Net neutrality" rules to some broadband Internet access providers.

The new "Open Internet" rules (PDF) would prohibit blocking of lawful content, Web sites, applications, and devices and ban "unreasonable discrimination" in the handling of specific data packets. ("Open Internet" is the FCC's preferred term for Net neutrality.) A new transparency requirement would mandate detailed disclosures of network management practices.

Last week, the … Read more

Square aims for growth, drops per transaction fees

A number of blogs pointed us today to news that mobile payment company Square is dropping the $.15 per transaction charge for any business using its mobile payments device and service. Square previously charged 2.75 percent of each transaction amount plus a flat $0.15 per transaction fee.

On the one hand, this is not that big of deal considering that the 2.75 percent is where the bulk of the company's revenue will eventually be made as higher-ticket purchases become more the norm. And, if you consider that 2.75 percent of $5 is $.13, the company … Read more

Apple ready to roll out new retail service?

That secret meeting for Apple retail employees we've been hearing about? The agenda might not be nearly as exciting as some would hope.

Apple store employees have reportedly been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements in advance of a meeting this Sunday night. Boy Genius Report says it's heard that the big secret employees will learn at that meeting is a new small-business-oriented IT support service called Joint Venture.

BGR says it's "an extension of Apple's current Genius Bar services" but that's aimed at small-business owners and "prosumers." The service will cost … Read more

FTC looking into Apple's in-app purchasing policy

The Federal Trade Commission will review how Apple markets games with in-app purchases, but not for the reason you may think.

Apple introduced a controversial policy for developers last week when it said that it would take a 30 percent cut of revenue generated from subscription publishing apps that included in-app purchases. Apple also said it would only accept apps whose subscription offers through its iOS app are consistent with the lowest price offered by the publisher elsewhere. The U.S. Department of Justice said last week it would take a look at Apple's policy, but stopped short of … Read more

HP first-quarter earnings slightly miss expectations

Hewlett-Packard today reported that for the first quarter of 2011, the company brought in revenue of $32.3 billion. That's an increase of 4 percent from a year ago, but slightly below what Wall Street was hoping to hear.

Wall Street analysts were expecting revenue between $32.75 billion and $33.59 billion, and earnings per share between $1.26 and $1.32. HP's earnings per share this quarter came in at $1.17 (including 19 cents per share in after-tax costs), which is a 26 percent leap from the 93 cents per share earned a year ago. … Read more

Lenovo chairman talks economics, future of PCs

Liu Chuanzhi's name may not be instantly recognizable in the U.S., but at home in China he's a technology and business celebrity.

Chuanzhi helped found Lenovo in 1984 with a group of 10 engineers in China at a time when the country was in transition. Moving from a planned economy to a market economy was hard enough, but Chuanzhi and colleagues also had to compete with Western companies attempting to insert themselves in the Chinese marketplace. After purchasing IBM's PC business in 2004, Lenovo has today grown to the fourth-largest provider of PCs in the world, … Read more

Google faces new French antitrust claims

A search company has made fresh antitrust complaints against Google to the European Commission, alleging that Google blocked some of its rivals from using its AdSense advertising platform.

Today, 1plusV--the publisher of legal search engine, which has a longstanding complaint against Google--said AdSense was "the only truly effective way of obtaining targeted advertising on a search engine," and Google's refusal to allow vertical search engines such as access to AdSense was designed to stifle competition.

According to 1plusV, when complained to the Commission over other practices in February 2010, Google delisted … Read more